Today In Grateful Dead History: July 17, 1982 – Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA

stealie Bob Weir tends to be pretty high in the mix on this recording, which does a bit to showcase the intricate and unusual things that he was up to in the early 80’s, none more so than the stuff he plays at the start of China Cat Sunflower, which seems to have no relationship to where the song is going but somehow (maybe by accident) melds into the tune perfectly.  It’s a strange intro and typical of that Grateful Dead magic.

There aren’t a lot of highlights here, but the first-set-ending Truckin’ comes close with a up-tempo rave up near the end of the song.  The second set starts with Playin’ in the Band, and that version, while not as good as Truckin’, is more than adequate and leads into the aforementioned China Cat Sunflower strangeness.

Beyond that, you’ve got some OK tunes but nothing to write home about.  I do recommend listening if you’re interested in Weir’s guitar parts, since they’re prevalent, but beyond that, this is easily skippable.

Here’s a link to the audience recording:


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